Saturday Evening Worship

Written by Joel on February 21st, 2009


The chairs were arranged in a large semi-circle with many rows, directly adjacent to the stage. There was a small center which the leaders spoke from. “Let the preparation this room be an act of worship in itself.”

Instructions: We are going to enter our worship with a meditative song. Meditate on these words and let them guide your worship this evening. Even if you know the words, I ask that you remain silent and hear them anew.

Meditative Song (Colin & James):  We Are the Body.

Instruction (Brandon):  Turn in your seats and pair up in twos. The person on the left will pray the first part to their partner, the person on the right will pray the second part in response, everyone will respond “Alleluia.” Pray with me.

Brandon (left) : The Lord said you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witness to the ends of the earth.

Andrea (right): Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will fill the hearts of the faithful and kindle in them the fire of God’s love.

ALL: Alleluia!

Scripture (Michelle): Acts 2:1-12 [skipping people names]

Song (Colin & James): Rising From the Ashes.

Prayer (Trevor)

Continue song (Colin & James)

Chorus (Paul)

Benediction (Brandon): Let this song be our benediction.

Continue song (Paul): Get Up and Go!


This worship experience was designed with the help of campers and a fellow counselor during free time earlier that day. The planning experience was not only planning but also partly instruction on what it means to worship: How do we enter and exit worship time and space? It is not about what happens up front, but rather we should ask “how can we lead our fellow campers to worship where they are?”

A camper suggested the reception of the Holy Spirit as the focus of the evening worship. Earlier that day the keynote speaker talked about different names for God. In the scripture we read how many people heard about God in their own language.

I asked how we might set up the space convey this message and a camper suggested that we avoid the traditional center aisle as it might show division whereas the scripture conveyed a unity. We went a step farther and created the semi-circle to better foster the unity and community expressed in the Scripture. Worshipers were able to look at each other.

Two campers happened to be gifted musicians and offered a song they had written themselves which was most appropriate. They allowed for a time of prayer in the middle of the song. It was titled Rising From the Ashes. The campers acknowledged how this fits with the fire imagery of Pentecost. The verses of the song were wonderfully Christ-centered. This helped to balance the largely horizontal focus thus far with a vertical (direct praise of God).

The “pair-prayer” was another camper’s idea, again to convey unity and also a commission. It may have worked better as “repeat-after-me” as opposed to reading form the screen (which took the focus off of one’s peer).

Paul had a great sending out song, Get Up and Go. Which we felt stood on its own as a benediction.


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